Improving herd fertility and calf health will be among the top priorities at the latest Scottish dairy to join the AHDB’s strategic farm network.
The 600-cow herd of Holstein Friesians at Millands farm, Ayrshire, is run by James and Wallace Hendrie, whose family has farmed in the area for 250 years.
Wallace said the main motivation for taking part is finding ways of improving the overall profitability of the operation.
He added: “We’re always looking for new ways of doing things and we intend to apply this approach to our role as host farmers. As such, we’ve identified a number of key areas we wish to focus on and are keen to share what we learn with other farmers.”
These include improving on the health and quality of young stock, which the Hendries believe will enhance the performance of the whole herd.
The cows are managed as a spring block calving herd which is currently achieving yields of 5,400 litres per cow, of which 3,575 litres is from forage, at 4.2% butterfat and 3.5% protein. The milk is sold to Muller.
Millands joins all-year-round calving dairy farm Hillhead of Covington, Lanarkshire, operated by host farmer William Baillie, as the second AHDB strategic dairy in Scotland.
There are 18 dairy farms now on board the programme, which aims to have a total of 26 farms covering a mixture of dairy farming systems.